On multi-core CPU systems, Windows 7's task manager used to display a separate utilization graph for each core unit:

Windows 7 task manager

On Windows 8 the task manager looks much fancier, and yet it shows a single graph for a multi-core cpu and there is no obvious way to show other cores:

enter image description here

Did Microsoft remove this feature or is it buried somewhere in the settings?

Update: Okay, it's really that simple. It turned out that I could not switch the graph into multi-core mode as the 'logical processors' menu item was disabled. Disabled because I was running Windows 8 in a virtual machine that by default had limited the number of available processors to 1. After changing the setting and rebooting I've got new graph options. Thanks everyone!

3 Answers 3


To see individual graphs, "Change graph to" > "Logical processors"

enter image description here

The task manager can also show a heat map of the cores to better show what they are doing (instead of having tiny graphs). This means that if you have a large number of cores (eg. 160), it will be easier to interpret the data:

enter image description here

More tips on using the task manager can be found at 8 Windows 8 Task Manager Tips


  • Thanks, @ronalchn. It turned out I had 1 core in the first place (Virtual machine). I have updated the question with the explanation. Oct 27, 2012 at 8:47
  • 1
    Just curious, but how do you have 8 Physical Processors running on (what seems to be) a regular windows 8 system? Assuming you're not using Server 2012 then doesn't the maximum amount of physical processors cap out at 2? Mar 27, 2015 at 15:14
  • 1
    @BenFranchuk money. And lots of it. May 31, 2015 at 19:10
  • @hunterboerner that's the truth. May 31, 2015 at 22:50
  • Damn. I want this machine.
    – galinette
    Dec 17, 2015 at 16:37

right click roughly where "cpu" is shown. a submenu opens, then you click "change graph" to show "logical processors".


You can follow the following steps to see in an alternative way screenshot

  • Or start the Resource Monitor by opening the Run dialog and entering resmon.
    – Martin
    Aug 31, 2018 at 11:28

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